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Recruiting 2012 - Big 12 Needs & Concerns
Posted Jan 30, 2012

What does each Big 12 team need, and what are the concerns this offseason?

Recruiting 2012 

Big 12 Needs

Recruiting 2011 | Recruiting 2010 | Recruiting 2009 

CFN Top Prospects for 2012
- No. 1 to 50 | No. 51 to 100 | No. 101 to 150
- No. 151 to 200No. 201 to 250 | No. 251 to 300
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers
- Tight Ends | Off. Tackles | Guards & Centers 
- Def. Ends | Def. Tackles | Linebackers | Corners | Safeties 


1.(In the Mountain West last year) TCU | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: Time to develop. It’s a positive that the big question mark around TCU is whether or not it can keep on winning after bringing in several top talents, after years of cranking out big seasons by developing prospects no one else wanted. TCU isn’t getting a Texas-like class of players, but it’s getting more of the four-star types than normal and it’s paying off in the passing game. This year, Gary Patterson is able to look towards the future rather than fill in a ton of holes, and now he gets to sell the idea of playing in the Big 12.

Team Concerns For 2012: Safety. The passing game will be as effective as any in the Big 12, and the backfield is beyond loaded with terrific rushing options to help keep pace in shootouts. However, a leader of a linebacker has to step up in place of Tank Carder, and safeties need to emerge to replace Johnny Fobbs and Tekerrein Cuba. Finding another good corner to replace Greg McCoy is a must.


The 2011 Class Was Heavy On … The passing game. Call this a training year before going to the Big East, and the fantastic prospects for the passing attack will get time to work. The Horned Frogs went heavy on quarterback last year, but they still got three interesting passers this year with runner Trevone Boykin and 6-5 bomber Dominic Merka to get their chances. This class is loaded, loaded at receiver with Ladarius Brown, Brandon Carter, Cameron White, and David Porter all good enough to play anywhere in the Big 12. This is a big class good enough to rank with anyone in the new league … next season.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 61. That Class Was Heavy On ... Quarterback. Andy Dalton isn't going to be around forever, and Gary Patterson and his staff have brought in three interesting quarterback prospects to wage a battle for the starting job, possibly, in 2011. Sam Carter is the best of the three with excellent all-around skills, while Matt Brown and Antonio Graves are also good athletes who'll get their shot to shine. Linebackers Marcus Mallett and Blake Roberts fit the Horned Frog mold, but as always, don't assume that any TCU recruit will stick with his original position. Patterson is a master at moving around the talent to the right spots.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 55. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive tackle. The Horned Frogs got commitments from a few very nice running backs like Jurell Thompson and Matthew Tucker, and someone has to pave the way for them. The interior of the line wasn’t ignored, Eric Tausch is a good prospect at either guard or center, but the tackles got the attention with three tall, athletic options in Ty Horn, James Dunbar, and John Wooldridge.

1. Texas | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: Production. Mack Brown opens the door and gets any in-state five-star talent he wants, but considering the top five-caliber recruiting classes year after year after year, the wins have to start coming. This year’s haul has no shortage of can’t-miss prospects with the secondary getting the most talent. The safeties will be strong, but the corners will be even better a slew of prospects coming in that would be instant starters for just about anyone else.

Team Concerns For 2012: Linebacker. The recruiting class is bringing in the normal allotment of killers, but the linebacking corps needs to be replenished from last year’s class. Keenan Robinson and Emmanuel Acho are done, meaning Tevin Jackson, Steve Edmond, and Kendall Thompson – three top gets from 2011 – have to step up. Overall, this was a young, YOUNG, team that needed a year to rebuild and reload. Now everything should be in place.


The 2011 Class Was Heavy On … Malcolm Brown. It’s Texas, so there’s the normal dizzying array of four and five-star talents across the board – the secondary, defensive line, and receiving corps are LOADED with this class - but the two things that truly matter are 1) the offensive line and 2) Malcolm Brown. The running back-by-committee thing hasn’t worked too well since Jamaal Charles left, and the hope is for the 220-pound Brown to be the fast thumper who can take over the ground game. Will the Longhorns finally have the front five to pave the way? Garrett Greanlea and Sedrick Flowers aren’t going to be ready right away, but they’ll need to be anchors as soon as possible. Fun stat: every recruit is from Texas.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 2. That Class Was Heavy On ... Phenomenal talent. The Texas haul of players would've been gushed over even more if it wasn't for Florida's epic class. The offensive backfield got a few players, but there's superstar power everywhere else with Mike Davis and Darius White leading a terrific group of six receiver recruits. DE Jackson Jeffcoat was the big pre-Signing Day story picking the Longhorns over Florida, Oklahoma and USC, while Reggie Wilson is every bit the star end prospect. Mack Brown stole Ohio linebacker Jordan Hicks away from Ohio State, Florida, USC, and Alabama, and got Tulsa safety Demarco Cobbs from Alabama and Oklahoma's clutches. Corner Adrian White should be in the NFL in five years.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 3. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive linemen. The Longhorns loaded up with elite players all across the board with the bulk of the star power coming on the defensive front. Alex Okafor will be a killer after he spends a few years in the weight room, and Calvin Howell and Derek Johnson will battle it out for the honor of being the next great Longhorn defensive tackle. Kyle Kriegel is a potential pass rushing terror, while Dominique Jones is a tweener who’ll see time on an All-Big 12 team before he’s through.

2. Texas Tech | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: Instant help for the defense. Will Texas Tech be patient enough to let last year’s terrific recruiting class mature? Tommy Tuberville is on the hot seat after the 2011 collapse, but he came up with a whopper of a recruiting season and is doing another good job this year. However, he needs the defense to improve in a big hurry, and that means the 2009 and 2010 classes of good defenders have to start producing, and this year’s group of prospects must fill in the gaps.

Team Concerns For 2012: Offensive consistency. Defense, schmefense. No one in the Big 12 outside of Texas, and occasionally Oklahoma, can stop anyone, and Texas Tech will always need to win by bringing more firepower to the field. The pieces are there, but everyone has to be better. The O line could use a little retooling, and more pop would be nice from the receivers, but with ten starters back on defense it’s time to start winning.


The 2011 Class Was Heavy On … Running backs. This class might be the one that allows Tommy Tuberville to balance out the attack a bit more, but the running backs have to be as good as advertised. This is a huge, HUGE class with plenty of options for just about every position. The defensive line got a major influx of talent with JUCO transfers Dennell Wesley and Leon Mackey brought in to play aright away, and linebacker Branden Jackson was a big-time Signing Day pickup. Most importantly, though, this might be the best class of running backs in decades with Kenny Williams, Bradley Marquez, Deandre Washington and Ronnie Daniels all more than just pass catchers; they can run the rock.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 41. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive line. Tommy Tuberville's first class made the most noise keeping QB Scotty Young, but he loaded up the defense with eight linemen including 288-pound JUCO transfer Donald Langley at one tackle spot and fellow JUCOers Lawrence Rumph and Scott Smith on the ends. Overshadowed but still important were key offensive tackles Aleon Calhoun and Beau Carpenter, two big bodies who fit the system. Tuberville also beefed up the secondary with eight recruits including safety Russell Polk and corner Tre'Vante Porter.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 30. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive backs. Tech can’t beat Texas or Oklahoma without being able to slow down the pass, and it made sure the defense got plenty of attention to try to upgrade the secondary. D.J. Johnson and Yahshua Williams are very big corners who’ll get time to develop. Adding more size are safeties Will Ford and Terrence Bullitt, while Daniel Cobb will be in the starting mix in a few years.

3. Oklahoma | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: Oklahoma isn’t slipping under Bob Stoops, but it’s having to work a bit harder lately to not only bring in the four and five-star types, but keep everyone happy. The Sooners need running back help, and now. Everything was supposed to be set, but Jermie Calhoun, Jonathon Miller, and Brandon Williams all bolted and Dominique Whaley is coming off an injury. The receivers are flocking to Norman with the biggest boost to come when Trey Metoyer, a top recruit last year, is ready to roll after spending a year at the Hargrave Military Academy.

Team Concerns For 2012: Defensive back. The inconsistencies against Baylor and Texas Tech were costly, and while the secondary only loses corner Jamell Fleming, the pass D has to be tighter. With Landry Jones coming back and with a few terrific recruiting classes about to mature, OU doesn’t have any major worries.


The 2011 Class Was Heavy On … Defensive linemen. It’s more about quality than quantity across the board with some of the nation’s top prospects at most of the key positions. Kendal Thompson isn’t the typical OU star passer, but he has good skills. Brandon Williams might be the nation’s best running back in the 2011 class, and if Trey Metoyer isn’t the No. 1 receiver, he’s in the top three. Defensively, the line is loaded with some special prospects led by 6-5, 300-pound Jordan Phillips for the inside and pass rushing terror Nathan Hughes on the end. Dan Tapko will be a part of the end rotation soon, while Jordan Wade could be a special tackle with a little bit of time in the weight room.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 3. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive talent. Bob Stoops went after defensive backs last season, and this year he was out to step up the skill positions. Blake Bell will sit and wait his turn at quarterback with Landry Jones the likely starter for the next few seasons, but when it's his time, he should become a star. Brennan Clay and Roy Finch are runners who can fly, and Kenny Stills and Justin McCay lead an all-star cast of receivers who should bring in more firepower in the next few seasons. Defensively, OU came up with a big early story on Signing Day getting top linebacker Corey Nelson to change his commitment from Texas A&M. The Nelson signing overshadowed the addition of Tony Jefferson, a speedy outside linebacker from California who could've gone anywhere and played running back if he wanted.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 8. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive backs. Everyone in the Big 12 went heavy on the secondary, seeing it as a must after the offensive explosion of this year, but Oklahoma got the best ones of the bunch. Gabe Lynn might be the nation’s best corner, and Marcus Trice isn’t all that far behind. Javon Harris and Kevin Brent will be starting safeties by 2011, while Demontre Hurst and Marshall Musil are interesting prospects.

4. Oklahoma State | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: Pass catchers. Oklahoma State is becoming known for developing top-shelf receivers, and the recruits are noticing with several good ones signing on along with JUCO transfer Blake Jackson and some excellent tight ends. Last year’s class brought in a ton of top skill prospects, and this year’s class looks even stronger in the receiving corps. The defense went strong on pass rushers a few years ago, and this year’s haul will be for the next cycle once the 2009 group is done.

Team Concerns For 2012: A pitch-catch combination that can make up for the loss of Brandon Weeden to Justin Blackmon. The Cowboys have top receiver prospects to spare, but all eyes will be on Clint Chelf to see if he can get everyone the ball. The pass rush that was so terrific last year has to replace both ends, and strong safety Markelle Martin will be missed on the defensive side more than Blackmon will on offense.


The 2011 Class Was Heavy On … Really, really good skill players. The bulk of the class is on the defensive front with James Castelman leading the group of defensive tackles, and Jimmy Bean is a promising end for down the road while JUCO transfer Ryan Robinson will likely see time right away, but the stars are on offense. With the success of Dez Bryant the Justin Robinson, getting receivers isn’t a problem with Desmond Rolany, Johnny Haynes, and David Glidden all good enough to be the next great Cowboy target. J.W. Walsh is a fantastic quarterback prospect with the potential to do a little of everything for the offense, while Herschel Sims is one of the nation’s top running back recruits.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 17. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive backs. No one is talking much about Oklahoma State's class mainly because Texas and Oklahoma stole all the limelight, but this was a great year for Mike Gundy. The secondary got lots and lots of bodies with eight prospect signed including corner Tommie Saunders and corner Larry Stephens. JUCO transfer Malcolm Murray is a big, skilled corner. Quarterbacks Nathan Sorenson and Johnny Deaton will get their chances right away to compete for the starting gig, while RB Joseph Randle might be too good to keep off the field. Shaun Lewis and Caleb Lavey will be good starters for the linebacking corps by 2013.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 40. That Class Was Heavy On ... pass rushers. The Cowboys weren’t bad at getting into the backfield over the last few years, but they weren’t good at closing. Getting to the quarterback in the pass-happy Big 12 South is a must, and OSU put a priority on bringing in players who can do that. David Paulsen will be a starter on the outside within the next three years, while Anthony Rogers could be special with a little seasoning. Linebackers LeRon Furr and Jordan Barnes can move and will be excellent blitzers.


6. Kansas | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: Firepower. The biggest recruit was new head coach Charlie Weis, but he doesn’t have the pieces in place to start firing away with the better Big 12 offenses. Weis has already improved the passing game for now and the near future with Dayne Crist transferring from Notre Dame and former No. 1 quarterback recruit Jake Heaps coming in from BYU. This year, though, he’ll be doing whatever he can to bring in a few JUCO targets and start to use the short time he’s had to work to bring in enough talent to salvage some sort of a class.

Team Concerns For 2012: Weis is starting to clean house with a few players being booted/leaving. 2012 isn’t looking like an improvement from 2011, and it might take at least two years to get the offense where it needs to be. Defensively, though, most of the key starters are back including linebacker Darius Willis in the middle to work around. Crist has to stay healthy on creaky knees, and the running game has to work from Day One.


The 2011 Class Was Heavy On … Safeties. The Jayhawks need answers for the offense, and the hope will be for either Brock Berglund or Michael Cummings to be a playmaker at quarterback as soon as humanly possible. Running backs Darrian Miller and Anthony Pierson should add some flash to the backfield early on. In the big class, the emphasis was on the safeties with six brought in with JUCO transfer Tnde Bakare expected to start right away and Marquis Jackson and Alex Matlock big, dangerous prospects for down the road.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 65. That Class Was Heavy On ... The defensive line. Mark Mangino concentrated on the secondary last year, and Turner Gill, with little time to work, beefed up the defensive front with six prospects headed up by Jeremiah Edwards, a potentially dangerous interior pass rusher, and speedy end Jaqwaylin Arps. Both are from Texas. JUCO transfer Quinn Meachem will push hard for Todd Reesing's vacated starting quarterback job, while the running back tandem of Brandon Bourbon and James Sims might be too good to keep off the field.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 46. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive backs. The Jayhawks went out to get better on defense, and it did with LB Huldon Tharp, three JUCO defensive ends, end Kevin Young, and tackle Randall Dent all coming in to form the foundation for the future of the defense, but it’s the secondary that got the most help with six prospects led by corner Prinz Kande, a speedy, big coverman, while the safeties are all terrific led by JUCO transfer Calvin Rubles and true freshmen Bradley McDougald and Darian Kelly.


8. Baylor | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: Defensive backs. Maybe it’s time Baylor started playing a little defense. You can’t win in the Big 12 if you can’t score, and as the Bears figured out last year, you can’t win big unless you can come up with a few stops. After years of keying on offensive firepower, with wildly successful results, head coach Art Briles is going hard after defensive prospects with the line getting a little bit of attention and the secondary getting a host of speedy options.

Team Concerns For 2012: The loss of Robert Griffin III Might not be as devastating as it might seem. Nick Florence can play, and even with Kendall Wright gone and without Terrance Ganaway to hand off to, the offense should be explosive. The defense that didn’t stop anyone last year has to get by without Tracy Robertson and Nicolas Jean-Baptiste on the defensive interior, but most of the back seven is back and all the pass rushers on the outside return.


The 2011 Class Was Heavy On … Running backs. With Jay Finley gone, Baylor might be hoping one of its young new recruits can shine right away. B.J. Allen, Jermichael Selders, and Anthony Webb aren’t thumpers, but they’re slick speedsters who can tear off yards in chunks. The passing game got a big pickup with Jonathan Lee, a big target who has No. 1 potential. The instant help is for the secondary with three JUCO transfers and good-looking prep safety Jermarcus Johnson all to be thrown into the rotation immediately.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 51. That Class Was Heavy On ... Offensive linemen. Art Briles was looking to build up on the front lines and signed a few nice defensive line prospects in tackle Dominique Jones and end Kedrick Dial. On the offensive side, tackle Troy Baker needs to be a starter within three years, while JUCO transfer Robert Griffin will be needed at tackle to protect the other Robert Griffin, the team's star quarterback. Guard Xavier Ruben is a good athlete for his size and could be the unsung signing for the offense. Helping out the passing game will be Eddie Johnson, a tall, talented wide receiver, and Antwan Goodley, a speedy target who'll get time to develop.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 42. That Class Was Heavy On ... the passing game. Being in the Big 12 South with all the big-time passing attacks, head coach Art Briles wasted no time in going hard after defensive backs, bringing in several decent safeties, but his reputation as a top offensive head coach helped land a ton of really good, really surprising prospect. Do the receivers want to play with star sophomore QB Robert Griffin? Oh yeah. Darius Jones is a smallish, quick playmaker who could be a No. 1 target right away, but Skyler Scott, Tevin Reese, Willie Jefferson and Glasco Martin are all good enough to emerge as future stars in the system. QB Bryce Petty will be a superstar in a few years.

9. Kansas State | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: It’s Kansas State, so as always the focus is on bringing in as many ready-made JUCO players as possible to win right now. This isn’t going to be a huge signing class, and there won’t be as many JUCO signees as normal, but Bill Snyder will try to gets instant starters for both lines while hoping to find the right fit at quarterback in Tay Bender for down the road. However, Snyder is 72, and it’s questionable whether or not he’ll still want to be coaching by the time the freshmen are done.

Team Concerns For 2012: Three starters are needed for an offensive line that did a great job throughout last year. There’s been some good developing going on, so there might not be as much of a learning curve as it might seem, but Snyder will still come up with a few JUCO prospects just in case. The secondary gets back ball-hawking corner Nigel Malone, but loses playmaking free safety Tysyn Hartman and corner David Garnett.


The 2011 Class Was Heavy On … Quarterbacks. As always, Bill Snyder went hard after the JUCO transfers with corner Allen Chapman a lockdown defender and safeties Kip Daily and Nigel Malone ready for right now, and defensive end Meshak Williams a great-looking end to put in the rotation. The offensive backfield got a few new options with JUCO transfers Justin Tuggle and Angelo Pease two fast, mobile players who can handle the offense this year. Daniel Sams is a prep pickup who’ll be groomed for the near future.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 84. That Class Was Heavy On ... JUCO transfers. If it's Kansas State there are going to be Junior College transfers. Overall this is a mediocre class with the bulk of the players for the near future coming in last year, especially in the secondary, and Bill Snyder is going for the immediate boost to get the program back over the hump and into Big 12 South title contention. Matthew Pearson will start somewhere in the secondary and Adam Davis will be used from Day One on the line as a pass rusher. In the freshman class, linebackers Tre Walker and Laton Dowling will be the keys to the 2013 Wildcat defense.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 89. That Class Was Heavy On ... defensive backs. If you’re going to try to compete in the Big 12, you need good defensive backs. Kansas State didn’t exactly break the recruiting bank on star prospects, but the secondary got the most help with safeties Thomas Ferguson and Carlton Callendar the best in the class. Throw in JUCO transfer Troy Butler and corner Courtney Thompson, along with safeties Joseph Bonugli and Torrell Miller, and the Wildcats are thinking defense first with this class.

10. Iowa State | Scout List

2012: What’s Needed Now: Receivers. Iowa State will never get the four and five-star prospects the other Big 12 teams bring in, so it’s all about strength in numbers. The Cyclones will sign several receivers to try to improve an always-mediocre passing game, while the defense will concentrate mostly on the line. The last few classes have been working on the skill players, and soon it all has to start paying off. It might take one more year, though.

Team Concerns For 2012: The defensive line loses three starters and gets really young, really fast. Top corner Leonard Johnson will be sorely missed, but most of the key parts are back. The offense has to replace an NFL talent in tackle Kelechi Osemele and right guard Hayward Hicks, and the receiving corps needs help with Darius Reynolds and Darius Darks gone.


The 2011 Class Was Heavy On … Skill players. Apparently, head coach Paul Rhoads is looking to branch out and looking for more options to play around with. Three quarterbacks were brought in with an eye both to 2011, with JUCO transfer Steele Jantz, and to the future with Jaquarius Daniels and Sam Richardson getting time to groom. JUCO transfer tight end Ernst Brun will be a part of the offense right away, while the hope will be for at least one new receiver, probably Quenton Bundrage or Tad Ecby, to be ready. Running backs DeVondrick Nealy and Rob Standard fit the Cyclone mold.

2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 71. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive backs. After going after wide receivers last year, second-year head coach Paul Rhoads made sure the defensive shelves were stocked bringing in six key prospects including JUCO transfer Anthony Young, who might be penciled in at one corner spot, and JUCO safety Durrell Evans. For the offense, Shontrelle Johnson leads a good-looking group of running backs and JUCO transfers Chris Young and Albert Gary will be counted on in the receiving corps.

2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 73. That Class Was Heavy On ... receivers. New head coach Paul Rhoads might be a defensive coach by nature, but he and his staff went after offense with the passing game getting the most help. Running backs James White and Beau Blankenship will be a major part of the attack soon, but the goal is to get the new receivers into the mix as soon as possible. Five wide receivers and tight end Willie Scott were added, with Donnie Jennert the best prospect with 6-6 size and good speed, while JUCO transfer Josh Bellamy has field-stretching wheels.